There is no doubt that cooking is a valuable lifeskill that any adult should possess. Being able to cook for yourself contributes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As an added bonus, it means that you don't have to spend all of your money on prepared meals and takeout! With that in mind, it is never too early to start to teaching children to cook! In addition to the benefits that learning kitchen skills will provide them when it comes time to cook for themselves, it gives you a great opportunity to spend time with your child and strengthen your relationship! Who knows, you might even help them discover their passion for culinary arts and become the next Master Chef!(Related: Helping Kids Pursue Passions) Teaching children the basics of cooking can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be! Your child can start helping you in the kitchen from as young as 3 years old. Your children will be thrilled that they get to contribute to whatever culinary project you're working on!
To build a base of cooking knowledge for your younger children, start by teaching them to wash fruits and vegetables. This is an important step in the cooking process that a lot of adults overlook, so it's never too early to lay that foundation! Washing produce removes a surface layer of harmful pesticides, wax, and even germs from other people handling them in the grocery store.These younger children can also help you by cutting soft foods such as certain fruits and butter with a plastic knife. One of the most important but nerve-wracking parts of teaching children to cook is teaching them knife skills. This is a great way to teach those essential skills without having to worry about your children hurting themselves.
These slightly older children will love to help you cut things using a small knife or scissors. They can also practice grating cheese, or even zesting citrus! You'll want to help your kids do this, as there's a risk that they cut or scrape themselves while practicing these skills. After a bit of practice however, you'll find that your children are having no problem with these more advanced skills.Another great step to take while teaching children to cook at this age, is showing them how to measure ingredients. They will love taking on this more advanced responsibility, and as a bonus it can help them develop their math skills!
As they get older, allow your children to keep practicing to refine these foundational skills. You can also teach children to cook using more complex skills such as whisking, peeling produce, or sieving ingredients.While helping your children master all of these skills, you can start teaching children to cook simple recipes. Banana muffins, a huge variety of pasta recipes, or even their very own pizzas are some great places to start! We recommend you keep a watchful eye while teaching your children to cook on their own to ensure their safety. However, with some guidance, they'll be cooking up a storm in no time!Teaching children to cook can be a fun task for any family, but it can also be an overwhelming one. To help you with this challenge, Laurus Lifestyles is launching a cooking class in Westmount as part of our after-school programming! Registration will open on November 1st, and all of our programs can be found right here. Our classes are open to ages 5 to 15 and will focus on teaching children to cook a variety of international cuisines using basic and advanced skill sets.Let us know what your favourite recipes are to cook as a family! Until next time!